At an event in Parliament yesterday (Wednesday 5th July 2017), I pledged my support for professional musicians and performers in my constituency, and urged the Government to ensure that they can continue to be able to travel easily across Europe post-Brexit for touring and performing with minimum administrative burdens.
The creative industries are worth over £87bn in Gross Value Added – more than oil and gas, life sciences and aerospace combined – and is the fastest-growing sector of the economy, employing 1 in 11 people. The UK has the largest cultural economy in the world relative to Gross Domestic Product and is the largest producer of recorded music in Europe and is the second largest exporter of music (after the US).
It is vital we get the best possible deal for the sector in a number of areas that have been so critical to its success – the ability to tour and trade easily with the UK’s largest export market and to attract talent, IP protection, EU arts funding, workers’ rights and the rights of EU citizens in the UK.
Musicians are very concerned that the Brexit process may lead to the introduction of individual member state work permits and/or visas for British musicians touring and working across Europe. Most professional musicians and performers rely on touring and travelling for their careers and livelihoods and gigs are often organised at short notice. As some performers can be working in several different European countries over the course of a few days, the possible introduction of work permissions and/or visas for British musicians touring and working in Europe could be extremely detrimental.